Saturday, January 19, 2008

Christ Matthews: Sexist History


Another lengthy recounting of Chris Matthews' long, sad history of dissing Hillary Clinton, and by extension, all women:

Media Matters for America: MSNBC's Chris Matthews problem

An excerpt (go to original for links):

Matthews has referred to Clinton as "She devil." He has repeatedly likened Clinton to "Nurse Ratched," referring to the "scheming, manipulative" character in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest who "asserts arbitrary control simply because she can." He has called her "Madame Defarge." And he has described male politicians who have endorsed Clinton as "castratos in the eunuch chorus."

Matthews has compared Clinton to a "strip-teaser" and questioned whether she is "a convincing mom." He refers to Clinton's "cold eyes" and the "cold look" she supposedly gives people; he says she speaks in a "scolding manner" and is "going to tell us what to do."

Matthews frequently obsesses over Clinton's "clapping" -- which he describes as "Chinese." He describes Clinton's laugh as a "cackle" -- which led to the Politico's Mike Allen telling him, "Chris, first of all, 'cackle' is a very sexist term." (Worth remembering: When John McCain was asked by a GOP voter referring to Clinton, "How do we beat the bitch?" Allen reacted by wondering, "What voter in general hasn't thought that?" So Allen isn't exactly hypersensitive to people describing Clinton in sexist terms.)

Good Reads

NYTimes: Pete Hamill Downtown, on Downtown

I just finished (I say "finished", not "read", because I listened to the book on tape) Pete Hamill's novel North River, set in New York City in 1934. It's a love story set within Pete Hamill's love of New York City and the people he grew up with. Recommended.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Republicans Play Limbo

If the question is: How low can you go? Rudy Giuliani wins every time.

He's using actual video footage of 9/11 in a Florida campaign ad. You can watch his sick campaign video at the link, at Talking Points Memo Election Central. I won't link it here. I gasped when I watched it.

Truly despicable.

Time to repeat this sick Rudy Giuliani joke:

Q: What's the difference between a cow and 9/11?

A: Rudy Giuliani doesn't know how to milk a cow.

Huckleberry Huckabee Stoops, Again


Huckabee wraps himself in the Confederate Flag. What, squirrel frying didn't cement the South Carolina redneck vote? His statement on the South Carolina flag also appeals to his homophobic base. A twofer from the candidate of the last century. I place him squarely in the 1920s, frying squirrel before donning his white hood.

“You don’t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag,” Mr. Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, told supporters in Myrtle Beach, according to The Associated Press.

“In fact,” he said, “if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell them what to do with the pole; that’s what we’d do.”

Check out this hilarious dailykos diary: Huckabee Attacked by Disgruntled Squirrel over Views on Confederate Flag

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Christ Matthews: Unrepentant Sexist Pig

Chris Matthews is a sexist pig. If you've watched his show on MSNBC for five minutes you are aware of this. He finally got a lot of attention when he ranted on and on and on about Hillary Clinton only being elected to the Senate because people felt sorry for her because Bill Clinton was unfaithful (link to the video of that disgraceful rant). But he's been treating women with complete sexist disdain for years, by talking over them, discussing their looks and their bodies, and discounting their actual accomplishments, as documented by Media Matters for America.

Yesterday a coalition of women's groups sent this letter to the President of NBC:

Dear Mr. Capus:

During the controversy surrounding Don Imus' racist and sexist remarks this past spring, you acknowledged that, with Imus, “there have been any number of other comments that have been enormously hurtful to far too many people. And my feeling is that ... there should not be a place for that on MSNBC. This is about trust. It's about reputation. It's about doing what's right.”

We commend your acknowlegement that NBC has a responsibility to demand appropriate conduct and dialogue in its programming. That is why we are writing to you concerning comments made by Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, that demonstrate a larger pattern of overt sexism when discussing women.
During an appearance on the January 9 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Matthews said of Senator Hillary Clinton, “the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around” and that “[s]he didn't win there [New York] on her merits.” Matthews has referred to Clinton as a “she devil,” compared her to a “strip-teaser” and called her “witchy.” He has referred to men who support her as “castratos in the eunuch chorus.” He has suggested Clinton is not “a convincing mom” and said “modern women” like Clinton are unacceptable to “Midwest guys.”

Matthews’ sexism is hardly limited to his comments about Clinton; such rhetoric is just the latest in a string of sexist attacks he has made against prominent female political figures.

-- During coverage of the New Hampshire primary, he said that Clinton is the only viable woman presidential candidate “on the horizon.” He couldn't think of a single female governor eligible to run: “Where are the big-state women governors?” he asked. “Where are they? Name one.” In fact, several of the states that currently have women governors are comparable in population to the states in which the male presidential candidates serve or have served as governor.

-- In November 2006, shortly after the Democrats took the majority in Congress, Matthews asked a guest if then-presumptive Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was “going to castrate Steny Hoyer” if Hoyer (D-MD) were elected House Majority Leader.

-- During coverage of a presidential debate last spring, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell was compelled to remind Matthews that Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) wife, Michelle, is a Harvard-educated lawyer after he focused obsessively on her physical appearance.

During the Imus controversy you expressed a hope that “we don't squander this remarkable opportunity that we have to continue this dialogue that has taken place, to continue the dialogue about what is appropriate conduct and speech, to continue the dialogue about what is happening in America. I think we have, as broadcasters, a responsibility to address those matters.”

In the middle of a heated election season where, for the first time, we have both a female candidate and an African-American candidate vying for the Democratic nomination, “appropriate conduct and speech” is more important than ever. Matthews’ history proves that when discussing prominent female figures, he is prone to overt sexism rather than civil political discourse.

We appreciate your taking the time to address our concerns and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kim Gandy, National Organization of Women
Lulu Flores, National Women's Political Caucus
Carol Jenkins, Women's Media Center
Ellie Smeal, Feminist Majority"

So tonight on his MSNBC program Matthews "apologized". I put the word apologized in quotes advisedly, as he was clearly unrepentant for his abysmal treatment of women. He got woodshedded by someone at NBC, but he still thinks he's fine. Just watch this BS apology and see what you think:

"It's My Show and I'll Pretend to Cry If They Make Me"

Read This

Library of Congress

Excellent article in the Chicago Tribune by Melissa Isaacson about the heartbreak of caring for her parents through their years of decline, and eventual deaths, from Alzheimer's disease.

Chicago Tribune: 'Something's not right with Mom . . . and now, Dad.'
Watching one parent die by inches is painful enough. When Alzheimer's takes both, your pain is more than the sum of the parts.

Dave O'Brien Out?

Please God, for the sake of all that is holy, let it be so: Major Shakeup in MLS Broadcasting

Confirmed: Dave O’Brien and Eric Wynalda are out as MLS’ #1 broadcast team and will be replaced by JP Dellacamera and John Harkes.

Please, please, please, let them be out as the USSoccer announcers, too. If I ever have to hear Dave O'Brien reveal his sketchy knowledge of soccer again, it will too soon.

Maybe they're finally listening to us?

ESPN - PLEASE Show Dave O’Brien A Red Card!

WSJ: Fans Say ESPN's World Cup Coverage Deserves Penalty

SportsFilter: Prefer a language you don't understand over Dave O'Brien?

Armchair GM: ESPN Needs to Get Rid of Dave O'Brien for Soccer

Broadcasting & Cable: Time For ESPN To Bench Dave O'Brien

Lowering Cholesterol: A $40 BIllion a Year Boondoggle

I have been suspicious of cholesterol-lowering drugs for years now. My doctor keeps trying to prescribe them to me because my cholesterol numbers are less than 1% higher than what is considered "normal". Years ago I read a story on the internet (which I cannot find despite many google searches today) about how a pharmaceutical industry representative was behind the lowering of the acceptable high total cholesterol number from 250 to 200, and as a result cholesterol-lowering pharmaceutical drugs became an $8 billion a year industry. But I am behind the times. According to this article in the New York Times, cholesterol-lowering drugs are now an astounding $40 billion a year industry. And there is very little scientific evidence that lower cholesterol actually leads to improved cardiac health.

And that doesn't even get into the "side effects" of these drugs, a side effect being a direct effect of the drug that isn't the one the doctors are looking for. Memory loss and muscle wasting aren't things I want to cause myself. This article has a good summary of the anti-statin-drug arguments.

I'm sticking with whole foods and no drugs.

Share the Wealth: Bad News About Statins

NYTimes: New Questions on Treating Cholesterol

For decades, the theory that lowering cholesterol is always beneficial has been a core principle of cardiology. It has been accepted by doctors and used by drug makers to win quick approval for new medicines to reduce cholesterol.

But now some prominent cardiologists say the results of two recent clinical trials have raised serious questions about that theory — and the value of two widely used cholesterol-lowering medicines, Zetia and its sister drug, Vytorin. Other new cholesterol-fighting drugs, including one that Merck hopes to begin selling this year, may also require closer scrutiny, they say.

“The idea that you’re just going to lower LDL and people are going to get better, that’s too simplistic, much too simplistic,”
said Dr. Eric J. Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, Calif. LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is the so-called bad cholesterol, in contrast to high-density lipoprotein, or HDL.

For patients and drug companies, the stakes are enormous. Led by best sellers like Lipitor from Pfizer, cholesterol-lowering medicines, taken by tens of millions of patients daily, are the largest drug category worldwide, with annual sales of $40 billion.

Massachusetts Eagle Count: 71

Wildlife officials counted 71 bald eagles across the state yesterday, including this one in Amesbury. (DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF)

Boston Herald: State to conduct annual census of bald eagle population

BOSTON - Wildlife officials and volunteers have spotted 71 bald eagles along state waterways during the annual count of the once-endangered birds.

That’s up from 48 birds counted in Massachusetts a year ago during the one-day, nationwide survey.

The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife says the sighting of 27 juvenile bald eagles Wednesday is a good sign.

The biggest number of eagles, 36, were seen during a helicopter survey of the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown. Other sites surveyed include the Merrimack River in Newburyport and two ponds in Lakeville.

Wildlife officials say the state’s all-time high was 76 eagles counted in 1998. Only eight eagles were spotted during the first statewide survey in 1979. The population had fallen because of habitat loss, bounty hunting and reproductive failure linked to pesticides.

Boston Globe: Eagles soaring across Bay State

Bush to Whales: Drop Dead (Updated, below)

Conservationists criticized President Bush's decision to exempt the Navy from an environmental law so that it can keep using sonar in its training in California, a practice they say harms whales and other marine mammals.
Photo Credit: By Reed Saxon -- Associated Press

The Bush Administration is pressing to overturn the federal court's ban on the Navy's use of sonar, which kills whales and other marine life in violation of several federal laws. It doesn't sound like Bush has a legal leg to stand on, but that hasn't stopped him in the past.

The whales, and the US, must survive another 368 days being ruled by the House of Bush.

Los Angeles Times: Bush sides with Navy in sonar battle
He cites national security in aiming to override a judge's injunction aimed at protecting marine mammals off Southern California. An environmental group promises to fight his move.

President Bush on Wednesday moved to exempt Navy sonar training missions off Southern California from complying with key environmental laws, an effort designed to free the military from court-ordered restrictions aimed at protecting whales and dolphins.

The president's directive was designed to short-circuit a long-running battle in which environmental groups have won court victories that frustrated the Navy's preparations for nine training missions over the next year, the first one set to begin next week.


Some legal scholars Wednesday questioned what they called the administration's self-manufactured emergency, noting that it had not surfaced as a legal argument until after nearly a year of litigation.

If the Navy had complied with the National Environmental Policy Act to begin with, it wouldn't be in an emergency situation, said Daniel P. Selmi, an environmental law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

At the same time, he said, he was impressed with the "full-court press" of the White House, the Pentagon and federal agencies, including the filing of a classified affidavit by Navy admirals that can be seen only by the judges.

"The federal government is pitching it as a full-blown matter of national security," Selmi said. "That puts an enormous pressure on judges to defer to the government."


Citing the Navy's own studies, [Federal District Judge] Cooper concluded that planned exercises off Southern California "will cause widespread harm to nearly 30 species of marine mammals, including five species of endangered whales and may cause permanent injury and death."

Mid-frequency active sonar, first developed in the later days of World War II, has grown more powerful and has been used increasingly in coastal waters, the habitat of most marine mammals.

NYTimes: White House Exempts Navy From Sonar Ban, Angering Environmental Groups

WaPo: Navy Wins Exemption From Bush to Continue Sonar Exercises in Calif.
President Cites National Security in Order

Looks like I wasn't the only blogger (and not the first, sorry) channeling the New York Daily News:

Lawyers, Guns & Money: Bush to Whales: Drop Dead

And the Ford to City: Drop Dead formulation is popular throughout the media: Bush to Arab world: Drop dead

The Nation: Bush to Children: Drop Dead

Counterpunch: Bush to New Orleans: Drop Dead

Will Durst, CommonDreams: Bush to Poor: Drop Dead Bush To Earth: Drop Dead

There are many more of these.

Huckabee Brags About Eating Fried Squirrel

Does he think this will endear him to South Carolina voters? Is there a big constituency in South Carolina for fried squirrel eaters? Every time I hear this clip played on TV I think of Sharon Stone's description of Dwight Yoakum: "A dirt sandwich." And this joker won the Iowa primary? Watch and be amazed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Presstitute of the Day

CNN's John King.

For these questions to John McCain:

* JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You were speaking yesterday on the one-year anniversary of the president calling for the troop surge about how, A, you think it was the right policy, and, B, you think, frankly, you a little deserve credit, because you stood up and pushed for it when it was unpopular.

It was interesting yesterday. I kept looking at my BlackBerry e-mails all day long. I didn't hear the Democratic candidates talking much about that date. What does that tell you about the evolution of the politics of Iraq, if you will?

* KING: As you know, one of the issues you have had here in South Carolina in the past is either people don't understand your social conservative record or they're not willing to concede your social conservative record.

There's a mailing that hit South Carolina homes yesterday. It's a picture of you and Cindy on the front. It says "Always pro-life, 24-year record." Why do you think you still, after all this time, have to convince these people, "I have been with you from the beginning"?

* KING: The flip side of that mailing shows Cindy holding Bridget ... tiny Bridget, at the Bangladesh orphanage. As you know, some heinous and horrible things were said in the campaign eight years ago about you and about your daughter. Is that mailing in any way meant to tell people, here's the truth?

* KING: You feel good about the state this time?

That was the whole interview -- all four questions. To recap: (1) Democrats want to ignore your Glorious Surge; what does that tell you, huh? (2) Why are South Carolina voters failing to recognize what a stalwart rock-ribbed conservative you've always been? (3) Your baby daughter is absolutely beautiful and it was reprehensible what was done to you and her in 2000. (4) How great do you feel? End of "interview."

And for this response to being criticized for these non-questions by uber-blogger Glenn Greenwald.

Mittwit Wins

BBC: Mitt Romney has won Michigan's Republican presidential primary, relaunching his campaign after second-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Despite being caught in yet another lie (a sham photo-op with an unemployed single mom -- who turned out to be a paid Romney staffer's mother) the Mittwit takes Michigan's primary. With three different winners in the first three primary states, the Republican party's cracks are showing.

Rudy Giuliani continued his slide to oblivion, finishing behind the moribund Fred Thompson and narrowly ahead of "Uncommitted".

Huckabee: No Separation for Church and State

This guy is batshit crazy. He says he wants to amend the Constitution "so it's in God's standards". Somehow, I doubt that he really means it. Will he end the death penalty? Thou shalt not kill instructs the King James Bible (not that I'm a believer or anything, but the King James has the prettiest and most colorful language of any of the Bible versions). No, Huckabee is in favor of the death penalty, and as Arkansas governor the state carried out 16 executions. Thou shalt not kill being apparently advisory in nature to god-squadder Huckabee. He is the extreme example of the Republican party's capitulation to the religious right.

rawstory: Huckabee: Amend Constitution to be in 'God's standards'

"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."

Here's the video:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Clintons and the Race Card

flckr: SI Neg. 75-2984. Date: 3/28/1975...Bible Quilt Harriet Powers, an African American farm woman from Clark County, GA, created this lively, balanced expression of her religious fervor. She exhibited her quilt at the Athens Cotton Fair of 1886... From The Smithsonian Treasury: American Quilts by Doris M. Bowman, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1991. ..Credit: Alfred Harrell (Smithsonian Institution)

Can't we all just get along?

Two interesting articles today, by Derrick Z. Jackson in the Boston Globe and Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post, both with "Race Card" in the title. Actually, Eugene Robinson's article is titled "The Clinton Play the Race Card" on the front page of the website, while when you click on the article itself the title changes to "A Hand the Clintons Aren't Showing". Both articles address "The Clintons" as both Hillary and Bill Clinton have been campaigning on racial issues.

Jackson's thesis is simple. The Clintons didn't do much to help racial progress while manning the bully pulpit from 1992 to 2000, and are dividing voters today with patronizing racial attacks.

It is time to take a break to remember the fairy tales spun by the House of Clinton.

It increasingly appears that Hillary is unable or unwilling to break from the racial patronization of Bill. In 1993, in the same Memphis church that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke from 25 years earlier, I noted that Clinton spoke as "if African-Americans had full run of the promised land in the last 25 years."

Clinton told the church, "We gave people the freedom to succeed." Clinton said King would have said, "You did a good job . . . letting people . . . live wherever they want to live, go wherever they want to go . . . without regard to race, if you work hard and play by the rules."

I wrote back then that in the broad context of the nation, no one "let" us do anything or "gave" us anything. Yes, African-Americans made progress and many white Americans aided in that progress, but it still came in the face of continued, documented redlining, workplace discrimination, and the decline of funding of public schools.

Bill Clinton hugely betrayed that progress by doing nothing as Draconian, and ultimately racist federal sentencing laws took full effect, punishing crack possession far more harshly than powdered-cocaine possession. Even though Americans use illegal drugs close to their racial percentage of the population, young black men made up the vast majority of those sentenced under crack laws. According to the Justice Policy Institute, the rate of black male imprisonment under Clinton grew from 2,800 per 100,000 to 3,620 per 100,000. As a result, 14 percent of black men lost the right to vote.

What was it that Bill Clinton said about "we gave people the freedom to succeed?"

Now, it appears that the House of Clinton, seeing that the race for the Democratic nomination is not an adoring coronation, is trickling with tricks that raise questions about how much she will toy with the race card and overplay the gender card.


Obama has not been without fault in the patronization game. He made a dumb move in the New Hampshire debates by telling Clinton, "you're likable enough" when Clinton was answering a question about her likability quotient. But this pales next to the steady drip, drip, drip of stereotyping from the Clinton camp of a lazy, drug-using, Muslim black man who believes in fairy tales. It also pales to the gender-card whining of Bill on Hillary's behalf, saying in the 11th hour in New Hampshire, "I can't make her younger, taller, male." You have not yet heard Obama surrogates moaning they can't make Obama older or female.

Hillary Clinton herself fanned the fumes of patronization when she reached clumsily for an analogy that appeared to link Obama and King to simplistic hopers and dreamers, while it took a white man, President Johnson, to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Robinson says the Clintons use of race is deliberate, that they realize that Obama will take the black vote and are therefore using race to drive white voters to their side -- cynically.

A new Post-ABC News poll shows that black Democrats nationwide support Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination by nearly 2 to 1. This striking reversal -- a month ago, Clinton held a big lead among African Americans -- is perhaps why race has suddenly become such a hot issue in a campaign that previously had dodged the subject.


Still, it's surprising that the Clinton campaign has been so aggressive in keeping the race issue alive. On "Meet the Press," Clinton didn't just seek to explain her remarks about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s role in landmark civil rights legislation (she said it took a president to bring about real action) or Bill's "fairy tale" crack about Obama's record on the Iraq war (which some African Americans took as a dismissal of Obama's candidacy as mere fantasy). Instead, she went on the attack, accusing the Obama campaign of "deliberately distorting" her words in a way that was "unfair and unwarranted."

That seemed a curious tactic to employ just two weeks before the South Carolina Democratic primary, in which African Americans are expected to cast about half the total votes. It seemed especially curious after the most powerful black politician in the state, U.S. House Majority Whip James Clyburn, indicated he was so "bothered" by the Clintons' remarks that he might rethink his decision not to endorse any candidate before the primary.


The Clintons are reading the polls, too; they might well be resigned to the possibility that most black Democrats will vote for Obama. This would mean that South Carolina is probably already lost and that the campaign's focus now has to be on Florida and the many states whose delegates are up for grabs on "Tsunami Tuesday."

Is it possible that accusing Obama and his campaign of playing the race card might create doubt in the minds of the moderate, independent white voters who now seem so enamored of the young, black senator? Might that be the idea?

Yes, that's a cynical view. But history is history.

The candidates have announced a moratorium of sorts on these divisive tactics, but it's way too late for that. The Clintons are no fools. They brought up these issues deliberately. They didn't bring up the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote, and say that despite the protests, arrests and jailing of scores of women, it passed after Woodrow Wilson announced his support. (Which would have fit right in with their "only the President can get it done" theme.) They brought up the civil rights laws deliberately. They must believe that race is an issue that works for Hillary. Cynical indeed.

WaPo Columnist Smears Obama

ANATOMY OF A SMEAR, by Richard Cohen: Write a column claiming the only African-American presidential candidate must support Louis Farrakhan, because the candidate's church gave him an award. Spend the entire column outlining Farrakhan's misdeeds. Sneak in this sentence at the end: "I don't for a moment think that Obama shares Wright's views on Farrakhan." Pretend that you have not delivered a vicious, factfree smear. Go have cocktails with Fred Hiatt.

Call article Obama's Farrakhan Test

This sickens me.

Monday, January 14, 2008

WaPo Cartoonist Oliphant Hates Clinton

Remember that cartoon I posted yesterday, from the Washington Post with PMS and other neanderthal jokes about Hillary? Blogger Mithras looked further: When you look at all the cartoons Oliphant's done about Hillary in the past few months, it's pretty clear that he hates women, not just Hillary Clinton. Prick.

Hat tip to Fables of the Reconstruction

Anson Dorrance/North Carolina Sexual Harassment Case Settled

The case settled for $385,000, apologies and improved sexual harassment policies. While that looks like a lot of money, I doubt plaintiff Melissa Jennings will see very much. The case was originally filed in 1998, and with summary judgments and appeals to the Supreme Court, the settlement funds probably will go to pay her attorneys for their 10 years of work. (After further reading, I find that the AP story reports that the settlement is mostly attorney fees.)

Charlotte Observer: Player, UNC settle suit; coach apologizes

A sexual harassment lawsuit against University of North Carolina women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance has been settled, with the university agreeing to pay former player Melissa Jennings $385,000 and Dorrance issuing an apology to all of his players for inappropriate discussions about sex.

The deal also requires the university to conduct a comprehensive review of its sexual harassment policies and procedures, according to a copy of the settlement obtained by The News & Observer. The settlement was approved by members of the UNC Board of Governors last week.

It was the second and final monetary settlement in the protracted lawsuit, which has been an embarrassing and expensive chapter for the university and its star soccer coach. In 2004, the other plaintiff, Debbie Keller -- a two-time national player of the year -- settled out of court for $70,000 and a requirement that Dorrance attend sensitivity training for eight years.


Dorrance's apology letter, contained in the settlement, said between August 1996 and June 1998, he participated with his players in group discussions of team members' sexual activities and relationships with men.

"I understand that my participation in those discussions was inappropriate and unacceptable," his letter said. "I apologize to Ms. Jennings and her family, as well as all other members of the soccer team."

Dorrance and the university had long argued that the sexual discussions were merely locker room banter. But last year Judge M. Blane Michael wrote in the 4th Circuit Court majority opinion that Dorrance's conduct "went far behind simple teasing and qualified as sexual harassment."

The settlement provides for a full review and revision of UNC's sexual harassment policies by Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a former Olympic swimmer who is now a Florida Coastal School of Law assistant professor specializing in women's equity in sports.

USAToady: Dorrance, former player settle sexual harassment suit

The Daily Tar Heel: UNC settles sexual harassment suit

Winston-Salem Journal: UNC soccer coach, former player settle sexual harassment suit

Chilling News

Global warming is real. Are the politicians listening? At least the story is on page one of the Washington Post.

WaPo: Escalating Ice Loss Found in Antarctica
Sheets Melting in an Area Once Thought to Be Unaffected by Global Warming

Climatic changes appear to be destabilizing vast ice sheets of western Antarctica that had previously seemed relatively protected from global warming, researchers reported yesterday, raising the prospect of faster sea-level rise than current estimates.

While the overall loss is a tiny fraction of the miles-deep ice that covers much of Antarctica, scientists said the new finding is important because the continent holds about 90 percent of Earth's ice, and until now, large-scale ice loss there had been limited to the peninsula that juts out toward the tip of South America. In addition, researchers found that the rate of ice loss in the affected areas has accelerated over the past 10 years -- as it has on most glaciers and ice sheets around the world.

"Without doubt, Antarctica as a whole is now losing ice yearly, and each year it's losing more," said Eric Rignot, lead author of a paper published online in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The Antarctic ice sheet is shrinking despite land temperatures for the continent remaining essentially unchanged, except for the fast-warming peninsula.

The cause, Rignot said, may be changes in the flow of the warmer water of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current that circles much of the continent. Because of changed wind patterns and less-well-understood dynamics of the submerged current, its water is coming closer to land in some sectors and melting the edges of glaciers deep underwater.

"Something must be changing the ocean to trigger such changes," said Rignot, a senior scientist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "We believe it is related to global climate forcing."

Rignot said the tonnage of yearly ice loss in Antarctica is approaching that of Greenland, where ice sheets are known to be melting rapidly in some parts and where ancient glaciers have been in retreat. He said the change in Antarctica could become considerably more dramatic because the continent's western shelf, an expanse of ice and snow roughly the size of Texas, is largely below sea level and has broad and flat expanses of ice that could move quickly. Much of Greenland's ice flows through relatively narrow valleys in mountainous terrain, which slows its motion.

The new finding comes days after the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the group's next report should look at the "frightening" possibility that ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica could melt rapidly at the same time.

"Both Greenland and the West Antarctic ice sheet are huge bodies of ice and snow, which are sitting on land," said Rajendra Pachauri, chief of the IPCC, the United Nations' scientific advisory group. "If, through a process of melting, they collapse and are submerged in the sea, then we really are talking about sea-level rises of several meters." (A meter is about a yard.) Last year, the IPCC tentatively estimated that sea levels would rise by eight inches to two feet by the end of the century, assuming no melting in West Antarctica.

Your New Captain: Christie Rampone

Christie Rampone was named captain of the USWNT by new coach Pia Sundhage. She is the most capped player on the squad, but I am a little surprised by this appointment. Last fall Tony DiCicco said during the World Cup that she was virtually silent during his first two years as coach. She'll lead by example, that's for sure. She was the US's best defender and arguably their best player during the 2007 World Cup.

USSoccer: Defender Christie Rampone Named Captain of the U.S. Women's National Team
Veteran Will Skipper Her First Game on Jan. 16 vs. Canada

Why Big Oil Loves John McCain: Billions and Billions

Two peas in the oil pod

Big Oil loves John McCain 'cause he's sandbagged the Abramoff investigation that would have led to Big Oil having to pay the American Indians for the oil & gas leases they've been stealing for decades:

[Here's] the summary Lambert did over at the Mighty Corrente Building:

Wampum [Want the background? Read all at Abramoff & the Injuns at Wampum - truth] owns this story, and Mary Beth summarizes the detail. But I can’t understand a story that is longer than what you can write on a postcard, so I’m going to try to summarize the story this way:

1. The Department of the Interior leases Indian lands to the oil companies.

2. The oil companies are supposed to pay royalties on the oil they drill to the Indians who own the land.

3. The royalties add up to $100 billion (one hundred billion) dollars.

4. The Department of the Interior and the oil companies screwed up the accounting, and didn’t pay the Indians what they owed them.

5. The courts have agreed with the Indians, so the oil companies are on the hook for $100 billion.

6. Enter Saint John Sidney McCain (R-Torture Enablement), who is chair of the Senate Interior Commmittee.

7. McCain is pushing a settlement that will give the Indians 10 cents on the dollar.

8. McCain will thereby gain the undying gratitude of the oil companies, who will waltz off with $100 billion gross — the net to be determined by how much in campaign contributions goes to John Sidney McCain.

hat tip to Suburban Guerrilla

Close Guantanamo

The Guantanamo Blog

Sez the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — The chief of the U.S. military said Sunday he favors closing the prison here as soon as possible because he believes negative publicity worldwide about treatment of terrorist suspects has been "pretty damaging" to the image of the United States.

"I'd like to see it shut down," Adm. Mike Mullen said in an interview with three reporters who toured the detention center with him on his first visit since becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last October.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

No Comment

Washington Post

Remember the old "No Comment" section of Ms. Magazine? This "cartoon" qualifies. I count at least 10 sexist jokes embedded in one neanderthal of a cartoon. Ha ha.

You know, she's not my candidate, but this type of shit makes me want to vote for Hillary just to shut the fuck up this sexist pig and all the other sexist pigs. STFU! STFU!

Hat tip to Reclusive Leftist, via Pandagon.



Hillary Clinton is on Press the Meat today, and says she trusted the Bush Administration's promises about what they would do with the authority she gave them with her vote on Iraq.

She trusted Bush. That is why I DON'T TRUST HER. I knew enough not to trust Bush. Hadn't he spent his entire campaign in 2000 lying about his record? And about Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and even Hillary herself? And the 2000 election fight over the voters further cemented his lying liar status. How could she trust Bush? Or Cheney? Lying liars, both.

I can't stop shouting at the TV, because Tim Russert is not aware of this simple comeback. He doesn't ask her that question.

Toyota Prius Sales Top Ford Explorer Sales

Financial Times: Toyota Prius sales pass Ford Explorer
The icon of America's SUV passion falls victim to stubbornly high gas prices and an increasingly stringent regulatory climate

Americans bought more Toyota Prius hybrid gas-electric hatchbacks last year than Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicles, the top-selling SUV for more than a decade.


While Prius sales soared 69% last year, demand for the Explorer was less than a third of its 2000 peak.


The Explorer led the SUV charge in the 1990s to replace the minivan as the family car. Baby boomers craving space, a protective cocoon high above the ground and the power of a V-8 engine have driven about 6 million Explorers out of showrooms over the past 18 years. But filling an Explorer fuel tank now costs $70 or more, up from $30 five years ago. The traditional SUV "is a dead market," Magliano says.

It costs about $30 to fill the tank of the Prius at $3 a gallon, if the tank is completely empty.

Coach Mom drives an Explorer and can't wait to get rid of it. The car, only two years old, is already on the Consumer Reports list of cars not to buy used.

The Prius is not without its problems -- the terrible handling on snow and ice, poor sight lines -- but the gas efficiency can't be beat. And for a small car it's quite comfortable.

Good Journalism

Boston Globe: Courts strip elders of their independence
Within minutes, judges send seniors to supervised care

I was going to blog about this article as a great example of what good journalism is: finding a problem in society and exposing it to the light of day. Apparently Massachusetts courts have been shuffling old folks into guardianships without complying with legal requirements, and without caring very much about the people who are hurt by this.

Then I read the attribution at the end of the story. It's a project from a graduate seminar in journalism at Northeastern University (home of my co-op law school).

This article was reported and written for a graduate seminar in Investigative Reporting at Northeastern University by eight students: Nicholas Coates, Meghan Gargan, Jeff Kelly, Maggie Kowalski, Candice Novak, Yerina Ranjit, Amanda Smith, and Richard Thompson. Their work was overseen and this article was edited by Northeastern journalism professor Walter V. Robinson, former editor of the Globe Spotlight Team. Robinson's e-mail address is Confidential messages can be left at 617-929-3334.

Seeing a piece like this gives me two reactions. One, continuing frustration with our corporate media, which concentrates so much on pointless fact-free opinionating, and so little on actual reporting. Two, happiness to see that good journalism is still being taught at schools like Northeastern. I look forward to seeing the bylines of these reporters in the future.